Back in ’67, the original Mike’s Camera opened for business in downtown Boulder, CO, to provide cameras, film, and printing support to the quirky college town. Over half a century later, in a very different world, our ten stores are still brightly-shining foci for the photographic community. Not only have we continued to provide cameras, prints, and even film to the imaging-hungry, we’ve worked hard to develop our lab production capabilities and educational programs.
The upshot of all this? If we can distill the ongoing outcome of the entire history of Mike’s Camera down to one simple thing, it’s the vibrant community of folks with a shared love of photos and everything you can do with them. Professionals, hobbyists, and family historians alike all have somewhere to go for support from experts and to meet others like themselves.
Here’s another noteworthy 67 for you: that’s the number of cents per dollar that stays in your local community when you buy from a small business, according to American Express. If you’ve ever walked somewhere and felt the “soul” of that place, it was probably somewhere full of people who thought it was worth their consideration to keep their dollars local.
Next year’s astrophotography workshops, the ever-popular Demo Day events, one-on-one instruction with every camera, photo walks around places we love—all of these are possible because we’re not taking blind direction from a mysterious corporate plan-book, nor (even more onerous) with nothing but the bottom line in mind.
The guys behind the counter are local photography lovers, just like the people coming in to stand in front of it, and we do what we do because we like it! If you do as well, remember that as you decide where to give your support. Locally-minded photographers brought us this far, and you’re the ones that will make sure we can be an anchor point for another 50 years.
I received the following picture yesterday of one of my younger self’s favorite record stores, and though they closed some time ago, it was heartbreaking to see even the remaining shell being erased. That’s why we hope you’ll shop small and shop local… not just today (though it’s a great way to show your support!) but as much as possible, to keep the soul in our communities and make them the kind of which we’re proud to be a part.